Felixstowe United call for FA explanations

FOOTBALL: Felixstowe United have called the Suffolk Football Association to task over their handling of the case that led to them losing the Kingsley Healthcare SIL championship.

Felixstowe were docked four points for fielding skipper Steve Andrews when he should have been suspended.

They accept their punishment, but have been left fuming at missing out on such a coveted prize with Old Newton taking the title subject to ratification over their own potential misdemeanours last night.

Graham Bickers, who is director of football for Felixstowe, said: “We ask the Suffolk football community to consider the statement made by the chief executive of Suffolk FA Martin Head.

“He said that he was satisfied how they conducted themselves in the process.”

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Bickers has asked Head to publically qualify the following points:

1. A paid FA official (referee) failed to produce, under their own FA rules, a report, which he was duty bound in the process to do within three days. We can confirm we received the report 30 days later, thus creating an un-level playing field, this we believe need addressing.

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2 In this process, the Suffolk FA produced a suspension document which was dated to start on May 12 2009 when the actual offence was on the November 14 2009.

3. We subsequently received an amended suspension document from the FA saying the suspension started on December 19, which was fully complied with. The player concerned played on December 5 and December 12, which led to our punishment.

4. At the appeal hearing we feel Suffolk FA broke protocol by producing documentation to the head of the FA commission prior to the hearing, which prejudiced our case as we should have had sight of all documents to be used prior to that hearing which is a requirement under their own rules. Is this acceptable behaviour by our governing body?

5. At no time has Suffolk FA apologised for their apparent failings in these areas. Should we as a member of the Suffolk football community deserve a full explanation of their actions?

“We have accepted the charges of playing an eligible player under SIL rules 8:1 along with two other clubs in this league, who have all lost points,” added Bickers.

“If we all have to accept, that when found guilty of the same offence, what we and other member clubs need to understand and believe is that given the FA rules everybody should be treated by the same criteria.

“If that is the case then the FA and the SIL need to fully inform members so that they are able to understand why these decisions were made and the matter can be closed.

“We can only hope a detailed statement will be forthcoming.”

Head, who says that all clubs have been told that since switching to game bans rather than time bans the onus is on them to ban players 21 days after a fifth yellow or a red card, is happy with the way the Felixstowe case has been conducted.

Today he re-confirmed his previous statement: “I’m still satisfied with the way we conducted the process,” he said. “And so is the FA.”

The final word to Bickers who said: “We can assure all member clubs of our league, that at no time we held up any proceedings. In fact we have chased this procedure on a number of occasions.”

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